DAN Copeland followed his big hitting on the opening day of the season by cracking a 37-ball 54 which helped Easingwold beat York II by six wickets to open up a 10 point lead.

Will Warne made 54, Dave De Silva 49, Andrew Kay 31 and James Pringle 26 as York posted 193-6 with Paul Skilbeck taking 3-62 for the visitors.

Former York player Martin Piercy then made 44 and cousin Tom Piercy added 42 before Copeland, another former York player, raised the tempo. Scott Gregory claimed 3-85 but an unbeaten 31 from Paul Redshaw took Easingwold to their second victory.

Acomb are in second place following their advantage draw over Sheriff Hutton Bridge who were unable to match the hosts' 184-8 and closed on 149-8. Andy Tute top scored with 63 for Acomb with Paul Hemmingway adding 35 but the rest of the side were troubled by Mike Smith who claimed 5-66.

Smith then made 41 and had assistance from Steve Crowder 43 and Paul Scaling 28 but Dave Sykes made the telling contribution as he claimed 6-49 to keep his side firmly in control.

Clifton Alliance are the only side in the section to suffer two defeats and find themselves at the foot of the division after being bowled out for 120 by Woodhouse Grange for whom Kamran Sajid took 3-22.

John Hunter's 26 was the only Alliance batting success but he then saw Jonathan Bean make 40 and Nick Hadfield 33 before Sajid (27no) was joined by Simon Dwyer, who moved from Clifton to Woodhouse during the season, in knocking off the runs without further loss. Dwyer closed with 20no.

Runs were in free-flowing mode at Dunnington where only seven wickets fell in a high-scoring draw with the home side having the advantage.

With Simon Kellet sidelined with a broken finger, wicketkeeper Paul Miles scaled the order to open the batting and grabbed his chance by hitting 64.

Harwood Williams maintained his good form with 71 while Collis King 44 and Akaz Akhtar 29no helped the Common Road side to 259-4. All four wickets fell to Sean Stuchberry who had 4-66.

Pickering's batsmen then took their seat at the run feast with Mark Shepherd leading the way with 76. Colin Frank weighed in with 59 before Craig Aconley 33no and Mark Aconley 23no took their side to full batting points and a comfortable draw at 218-3.

In contrast, all 20 wickets fell at Elm Park Way where Thirsk had a 60-run victory over Heworth. Jim McKendry was the batting star, making 50 for the Northerners. Mark Wainwright helped with 27 but Richard Bowling had a fine return of 4-22 and Mark Bell took 4-52 to have Thirsk all out for 151.

That total was to be more than adequate as Barry Petty with 4-27 and teenager Neil Laidlaw 3-11 ripped through the home batting.

After the euphoria of toppling champions Dunnington on the opening day, Beverley had a more modest result when they got the worst of a draw at Sessay.

John Flintoff and Dwayne Atkinson both made 43 while Richard Till 28 and Matt Till 25 helped Sessay to 196-8 as Sean Lightowler claimed 4-51. In reply, Neil Stephenson made 41 but Steve Langstaff 3-63 combined with Mick Polson 4-41 to peg Beverley to 158-8.

Newly promoted Malton & Old Malton head division one after inflicting a 90-run defeat on Osbaldwick.

Darren Wyrill followed his 73 of the previous week by hitting an unbeaten 100 as he and Neil Johnson 58 shared a stand of 111 which saw Malton make 195-2. Mark Thompson then made 53 in reply but lacked support as overseas man Ryan Bulger took 5-26 to help dismiss the York side for 105.

Duncombe Park took the unusual step of batting first after winning the toss and their bold decision paid dividends as they took the full 30 points by bowling out Tadcaster Magnet in the 53rd over.

Peter Kent played an explosive innings which saw him hit 38 off just 11 balls while Richard Simpson 43 and Paul Wilkie 27no helped Park to 208 all out. Paul Downey 3-60 and Paul Clark 3-89 were the Magnet wicket takers.

Tadcaster then went for the win with Chris Malthouse 45 and Dave Lord 55no leading the way. However they then found themselves bowled out in the penultimate over of the extra six as Colin Humpleby took 3-60 and Adam Rayner 3-32

Updated: 11:35 Monday, May 03, 2004